(Posted Fri. Aug 22nd, 2014)
The National Corn Growers Association now offers its fourth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.
Today, Field Notes caught up with Adam Bell, a member of the inaugural class of the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program and farmer in western Kentucky. In the Mississippi River Basin, Bell farms about 2,000 acres primarily using no-till methods because he desires to do his part in implementing conservation practices in his work.
With harvest approaching more quickly than he would prefer, Bell describes the difficulty August brought to the corn crop.
“The crop is coming along faster than we would like for it to because it has become so dry since the first of August,” said Bell. “We haven’t really caught any rain. The corn is drying down very quickly. While no one has started to harvest yet, we are probably only two or three weeks out now.”
While the yields are not as strong as many had hoped, he notes that the crop remains in decent shape.
“We haven’t had rain for three or four weeks and, at the end of the growing season, corn benefits from a good rain to help fill out the kernels,” he said. “Our good ground will still be good. There is not much irrigated ground around here, but what there is will be great. We probably lost about 30 bushels per acre off what we could have had on the dry land corn. The crop will still probably be pretty good, but we had been looking at a great crop.”
To listen to the full interview with Bell, including his explanation of what farmers do to prepare for harvest, click here.
Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes follows the growers who have opened their farms, families and communities up this year and meet the true faces of modern American agriculture.